Mastering 3D Print Starts: Perfect First Layer Cura Tips Revealed!

Mastering the First Layer Squish – Not just for Ender 3 but Beyond!


Level that Print Bed, Clean It Up, and Stick It Right!

For the best first layer squish, two things are crucial: a pristine, well-aligned print bed and the slicer’s optimized first layer settings. Dive in with me for these electrifying insights!

Mastering the Print Bed:
The foundation of a flawless first layer lies in a meticulously leveled bed. Uneven squish leads to a compromised first layer. Here’s a snapshot from an enthusiast showing how different nozzle distances impact the first layer. Learn to fine-tune your Ender 3 bed with CHEP’s technique:

Step 1: Access CHEP’s custom Bed Leveling Files on Thingiverse, load it onto your 3D printer’s SD card, or slice the Squares STL file.
Step 2: Level Your Print Bed using the age-old paper trick. Select the Ender_3_Bed_Level.gcode, wait for it to heat up, adjust using a piece of paper, and repeat for all corners and the center. For precision lovers: use the Steel Feeler Gauge, popular in the 3D printing realm.
Step 3: Go Live with Your Leveling. This method perfects your bed level further. Download the live leveling file, monitor the filament application, and make adjustments as needed.

Maintaining a Clean Print Bed:
A spotless print bed ensures an impeccable first layer adherence. Clean it with dish soap and warm water or wipe it down with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Avoid touching it barehanded; if needed, wear gloves like the Nitrile Gloves.

Boost with Adhesives:
Print bed adhesion can be augmented with:
Glue Sticks: Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks are preferred by many.
Special Adhesives: The Layerneer Bed Weld Glue is designed specifically for 3D printing.
Painter’s Tape: The 3M Scotch Blue Tape is known for its adherence, even at elevated temperatures.
Hairspray: A user’s favorite for even coating and bed adhesion.

Refining Your Print Settings:
The right slicer settings are crucial! Here’s a quick guide:
Initial Layer Height: Set it thicker for a stronger first layer.
Initial Line Width: Increase up to 125% for a firm grip.
Initial Layer Flow: Boost it by 10-20% for better filament flow.
Build Plate Temperature Initial Layer: Adjust as per filament specifications.
Initial Layer Print Speed: A speed of 25mm/s is usually sufficient.
Initial Fan Speed: Keep it at 0% for the first layer.
Build Plate Adhesion Type: Opt between a Skirt, Brim, or Raft.

Advanced Layer Tweaks:
Cura has additional settings:
Wall Ordering: Set to Inside to Outside.
Initial Layer Horizontal Layer Expansion: Adjust to combat elephant’s foot.
Bottom Pattern Initial Layer: Use the concentric pattern.
Combing Mode: Set to Not in Skin.
Max Combing Distance Without Retraction: Set at 15mm.

With these tips, you’re equipped to achieve the impeccable first layer every time. For more detailed troubleshooting, dive into my article on solving first layer hitches. Happy Printing!